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Implementing electronic health records (EHR) is no easy task, but there are key lessons learned from successful implementations that can ensure success.
Allscripts Sunrise™ clients have shared tips about how they’ve implemented EHR projects on time, on budget and with the outcomes they expected. Here are a few tips I’ve gleaned from clients who know best:
1 It all starts with strong leadership
An EHR implementation requires a massive amount of change, which is never easy. But if the leadership team supports the project, it will be easier to motivate and align the team to the organization’s goals. Leaders at the highest level need to visibly and consistently reinforce the message that failure is not an option.
2. Focus on outcomes – Understand the WHY
Driving change is much easier when clinicians understand “the why.” It is critical to articulate what outcomes you are trying to achieve, which helps with all decisions throughout the project. Don’t forget to take a baseline measurement, so you can prove the return on investment you anticipated.
3. Make deployment the top priority
Your team must understand that an EHR implementation is the most important transformation project happening. Prioritize the deployment, and avoid the temptation to under-resource the content build, system design, training and support to save money.
4. Must be a clinically driven project
An EHR implementation is not just another IT project. Successful implementations engage clinicians from the very beginning and at every step along the way to help ensure the EHR meets their needs.
5. Optimize, don’t just automate, existing workflows
Once you understand the outcomes you are trying to drive, look at how you can optimize your workflows and configure the system to drive those outcomes. Review workflows across the entire community, not just within specific venues of care for specific clinicians.
6, Test thoroughly
It’s really important to test products before going live, which provides the opportunity to catch problems and address concerns. These are issues you don’t have to experience that in a live environment.
7. Plan for ongoing transformation
It is unrealistic to expect a perfect EHR configuration before launching. Start with a solid foundation that you can continue to evolve and optimize. It is an extension of an organization’s commitment to continuous improvement.
8. Train on new workflows, not features and functions
Don’t just train clinicians on specific modules of the system, but rather focus on the outcomes you are trying to achieve, new workflows to support those efforts and how the system supports those workflows.
9. Offer multiple training options
When it comes to training on a new EHR, one size doesn’t fit all. Our clients often offer a combination of e-learning and role-based classroom training. Teams also engage clinicians as “super users” to build in-house capacity for after the rollout.
10. Don’t reinvent the wheel
Optimizing an EHR is simple when you can easily adopt best practices from other organizations. Allscripts Client Outcomes Collaboration Program (COCP) features ready-to-use tool kits with workflows and clinical performance management (CPM) reports associated with outcomes proven successful by Sunrise clients. One of the most active users, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (Boone, North Carolina, U.S.A), has adopted several tool kits.
Implementation experiences are as different as the organizations who have them. What tips would you add to this list?
University Health System (UHS) implemented Allscripts Sunrise™ for both ambulatory and acute care in San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A., featured in a recent case study. “We integrate everything into Allscripts Sunrise to give physicians one place, one stop, one shop for all diagnostic and clinical information pertaining to that patient,” Chief Information Officer Bill Phillips said.
Customization and flexibility were two main reasons UHS selected Sunrise to deliver advanced patient care now and in the future:
Phillips provides a personal perspective, too. In this video he recounts a conversation about Sunrise with his own primary care provider:
Providing capability and flexibility
“I think what really makes Sunrise different than other EMRs is, you have the capability, the flexibility, to make the system do what you need it to do,” Phillips said. UHS uses more than 300 applications and credits the Allscripts Open platform with enabling life-saving integrations among them.
For example, a third-party predictive modeling application taps into Sunrise to gather every lab result, vital sign and diagnostic data point to alert caregivers if the patient shows signs of deterioration.
“We have some very unique kinds of services lines here at UHS, such as transplant and hematology oncology. They need more than the standard content,” Dr. Alton Powell, Chief Medical Information Officer, said. “Because of the customizability of Allscripts, we’re able to build things that make the delivery of care easier. And nurses and professionals can treat their patients better.”
Phillips explained that ultimately, technology choices are about patient safety. “I’m asked many times about what’s the ROI on this technology,” he said. “So I answer by asking them this: if you’re in our hospital and Sunrise throws a drug-to-drug interaction alert that saves your life, what’s the value of your life? Because that’s our ROI.”
Editor’s Note: UHS uses Allscripts Sunrise™ as its core clinical solution, Allscripts EPSi™ to integrate financial processes and Allscripts dbMotion™ Solution as its connectivity platform. To learn more about how UHS combines these solutions to improve results across care settings, earn millions in incentive funding and improve overall efficiency, download this free case study.
It’s a new dawn for Allscripts SunriseTM , our clinical and financial solution for hospitals. The industry is taking notice, and so are clients. Below are a few comments that clients shared on the KLAS Research website:
“I could go on and on about the open architecture. We are constantly developing things to bolt onto the system. It is fun. For me, the fact that we can do that differentiates Allscripts’ product from the rest. We have an entirely different strategic initiative around our provider documentation for ambulatory. We are using a product for that which is not innately part of Allscripts. But because we can get under the hood of the Allscripts system, we are using this other product to build our provider documentation. Providers get the feeling that they are in the same primary medical record, but we can use this tool that is a little bit more flexible. If Allscripts were like [other vendor], we could not take advantage of anything like that. We would just be forced to use what they gave us. We would be a little bit stuck.”
Anonymous IT Director Comment, KLAS, March 2015
“Our CIO and I were able to develop a pediatric dose range calculator solution that is literally saving lives every single day. We likely could not have developed a solution like that if it had not been for this open architecture in Allscripts Sunrise Clinical Manager. In terms of safety and importance, that is a huge game changer in a pediatric hospital. We were able to do what seems like a small thing, just fluff, but I would call the pediatric dose range checking absolutely critical. There is no fluff involved there.”
Anonymous IT Director Comment, KLAS, March 2015
“The biggest strength of Allscripts Sunrise Clinical Manager is its open architecture. It is built on a SQL back end with a .NET framework. That platform allows us to invest some energy in customizing. We have been able to do some really pretty innovative things inside of the EHR because of that platform. We have a custom-developed solution for blood volume calculations, which is especially important in pediatrics. We don’t want to poke a child more than we have to, and we don’t want to draw one mL of blood more than we have to. So we developed a blood volume calculator in Sunrise Clinical Manager. When we launch this add-on of sorts, the system looks at the types of lab orders that are being placed by the physician before the nurse draws the blood. It knows based on the orders which type of tube is required and what color the top should be. Then it calculates the minimum volumes needed for that test and gives that to the nurse. The nurses don’t need to call down to the lab anymore, and they don’t need to use this crazy chart they used to have. It is a tiny thing, but it has really gotten a great review from our end users.”
Anonymous IT Director Comment, KLAS, March 2015
Comments like these remind us that Sunrise is a powerful platform in the hands of engaged clinicians. Reinforcing its leadership position, Sunrise won a 2014 Best in KLAS award for Global (non-US) EMR and the 2014 Top Inpatient Electronic Health Record Vendor from Black Book Rankings, adding to other awards from CDMI and Frost & Sullivan.
My first three months with Allscripts have been exciting. Opportunities to help clients outside the United States are growing by the quarter — with both electronic patient record* and population health management solutions.
To better assist our clients, we’ve launched a more focused approach. A managing director will lead each region, including Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Asia Pacific (APAC), and Canada.
Our clients have had the following recent accomplishments I’d like to share:
Earlier this month, Sunrise Ambulatory Care™ Module versions 5.5, 6.0 and 6.1 achieved Infoway‘s J-class, Laboratories and Clinical Documents Ambulatory Electronic Medical Record (EMR) certification. This recognition means our solution conforms to national and international standards for privacy, security and interoperability. It’s the first ambulatory solution from a major vendor to earn this recognition. You can learn more at the Infoway 2013 Fall Partnership Conference this week.
Clients achieve high scores on a United Kingdom Health IT index
EHI Intelligence published its inaugural Clinical Digital Maturity Index (CDMI), which ranks each of the 160 NHS Foundation Trust Hospitals. The index models the presence of nine administrative and clinical systems across nine levels of increasing complexity. Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital tied for first place, and Salford Royal ranked 18. You can read more about Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, one of only three trusts in the Unite d Kingdom that has all systems in place, in a recent article.
Noarlunga Hospital has implemented the Allscripts Sunrise Clinical Manager (SCM) Electronic Health Record (EHR) system. The new system is helping Noarlunga’s physicians and clinicians to electronically access patient information at the bedside and throughout the hospital, supporting continuity of care for its patients.
We’re encouraged by these early signs of success. We are continuing to make progress toward our vision of a global Connected Community of Health.
Editor’s Note: Electronic patient record is another term for Electronic Medical Record (EMR) or Electronic Health Record (EHR), more common outside the United States.